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Is there a good 3rd party application or plug-in to generate decent looking reports with the options and features we need like putting summaries on bottom of the groups, changing colors, fonts, etc., ?

  • I've looked a a few options but it looks like Tableau might work for visualizations but not as well for text formatted reports. – General Chad Jun 27 '14 at 20:34
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You can use visualforce for reports with analytics API and good javascript libraries like D3 , JqPlots,High charts .But all this require knowledge of SFDC plus web technologies.

Tableau server is good tool and now you can pull reports inside salesforce using canvas feature.

Qlikview is another tool that can generate good looking reports

  • 1
    Crystal Reports I've heard is great, too. It's not free however. – sfdcfox Jun 29 '14 at 5:15
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There are lot of third party apps which should be available in AppExchange with a reasonable cost towards it. The apps are available per user license or bulk of users.

Select "Analytics" from the left menu panel and there you can see dozens of apps which would meet your needs.

1

If you use a third party ODBC driver (Progress have a nice one), you can use pretty much any reporting software out there. I recommend you to try several of them, and you can start with DBxtra which does what you want and much more, also, it's easy to use as you can create a report by pure drag and drop.

  • How would you handle permissions with this since UserRecordAccess is not available via bulk API? If you synchronize all records how would you decide what to display to the user when you view it in SF? – Sam Kamensky Mar 16 '17 at 16:58
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Tableau is an amazing product and integrates with SalesForce. We were a customer...no other affiliation.

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When our users require reports to be in Excel format - and such format isn't the default 'export to excel' option, we use Appexchange product: Appextremes Conga Composer and Conga Conductor.

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